A decade worth of hurt and confusion and anger melted away the second her lips touched his.
Tayla had thought she’d hated Dean for what he had done to her up until the second he had told her that devastating story.
Did she still wish he had played things differently, told her what had happened, or even have someone else tell her? Yes she did. But it was what it was and she understood why he had run and why he hadn’t come back to explain.
The kiss ended and he looked down at her, confusion in those pretty blue eyes of his. She pressed her hand to his heart, found a pounding rhythm overwhelming him, like he thought his heart was in her tiny hands.
“Its okay, Dean,” she told him, resting her forehead against his chest. “Its okay.”
“You forgive me?” He sounded like he couldn’t dare to let himself believe it.
“Shh,” she touched her fingertips to his lips. “No buts. Does my brother know? My parents? How did I never hear about this?”
“I didn’t want you to know, I asked your brother not to tell you. I was-am-so guilt-ridden about it, I couldn’t function for a long time afterwards. Your husband,” Dean’s fingertips ran through her hair as his other arm wrapped around her waist and held her snug against his body, “He was good to you?”
“He was perfect.”
“You loved him.”
“I still do, I’ll always love him. But,” she added when she felt him stiffen, “that doesn’t mean I ever stopped loving you. You hurt me, deeply, but my love for you never disappeared.” Tayla drew in a deep breath, just hours ago she had been telling her best friend that it was too soon to move on, fulling intending to spend the rest of her life alone, but now things had changed, now that she knew the truth. “Were you serious? When you said you wanted to get me back?”
A sad smile lit his face. “Yes. I tried to let you go, thinking if I gave up the person I loved most in the world it would make up for what I did, but it didn’t, it couldn’t. I want you back, I just don’t know if I stand a chance of getting you back. Do I?”
Tayla didn’t even need to think about it. She wouldn’t change what had happened because if she did she would never have met Max and she loved him so much. But she loved Dean too, and losing Max had taught her that tomorrow wasn’t guaranteed. She could continue to be angry and hurt about what Dean had done or she could accept he had done it out of fear, and pain, and guilt and grab this second chance life had gifted her.
“Yes,” she said, dragging him down to kiss him again.
For a few minutes she had forgotten that someone tried to kill her, she had forgotten everything except having Dean back. Desperate to make up for lost time her fingers fumbled with his belt buckle, his hands tugging on the hem of her sweater, and then the night erupted into gunfire.